develop a system that works for your small business when it comes to launching (aka promoting and marketing your business) in 2024 and beyond with the launch bundle!
I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Running a successful business goes beyond the front-facing aspects; it’s about having a streamlined backend that fuels growth and efficiency. In this YouTube video, I am sharing my top five strategies for organizing the back end of my own small business. Discover how utilizing these strategies can revolutionize your operations and enhance overall efficiency.
I cannot emphasize enough about the transformative power of a project management tool. Learn how to turn it into your digital hub, a centralized space for organizing tasks, deadlines, and collaborations. Streamline pretty much ALL aspects of your business and increase productivity by harnessing the capabilities of a project management tool. My go-to project management tool = is Trello, but you can also use tools like Asana, ClickUp, and even Google Drive. My advice? Find one that fits your personality well, and stick with it!
Centralize your marketing early on in your business. There is so much temptation to put this off until you feel like a more “legit” business, but I want to encourage you to create an intentional promotional (aka marketing) strategy for your business. Don’t just market yourself based on your feelings and based on when you feel like “you are allowed to post”. If you want to grow your business, you need to have clients who are finding you at different phases of their client journey. It all comes down to having a marketing strategy that will meet them at various phases of their customer journey.
Having a centralized hub that houses your marketing plans (even if it’s a very simple marketing plan of posting to social media twice a week) should be recorded in a standard operating procedure. The great thing about marketing is that it is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. So this means you can find what works best for you and your business, but you still need to be comfortable with promoting yourself!
Consistency is key to marketing your business, and having a centralized marketing plan ensures that your brand message remains coherent and establishes you as an authority.
When you document your SOPS (Standard Operating Procedures) you are preparing your business for intentional growth. Your processes should be mapped out and recorded for you to easily transfer your knowledge to any VAs, contractors, or new employees you may hire as you scale your business. It can seem impossible to you now, especially in the early years of your business, but you are truly limiting yourself by keeping your main operating procedures in your head. You should not ONLY depend on your memory to help you run your business. You have worked too hard to forget pivotal steps with your client workflows. Take the time and map everything out. This action will not happen overnight, instead, I encourage you to create time at least once a week to map out 1 to 2 SOPS that help you run your business. This will eventually become your company handbook in a way.
Remember, you are laying the foundation for scalability with well-documented procedures.
Growing your email list should be one of your top priorities within your business every week. This may seem like a daunting and overwhelming task, but you need to remember that you do not own social media (it is constantly changing, it is constantly evolving and the algorithm doesn’t care about your feelings)!
Your email list is a goldmine and focusing on growing out your list (nurturing your audience) should be a priority of yours. Learn how to manage your subscribers effectively, have a plan of action for weekly (or bi-weekly) emails, and ensure that you are taking proactive steps to engage your list.
You can organize your email marketing efforts in a centralized way that works for you and your small business. Remember, you can keep this as simple as possible, but be intentional, and do not forget that email marketing and your marketing can go hand in hand together (because your marketing can drive traffic to grow your email list for example)!
Avoid the chaos of forgotten or duplicated purchases by centralizing past courses and resources. Create a structured system within your digital hub, ensuring easy access to valuable assets and preventing unnecessary expenses.
In addition to organizing all of your courses, templates, and downloads that are helping the backend of your business, don’t forget to have a streamlined way to organize your branding for your business. When I talk about branding, I am talking about organizing your:
-swipe files about your business
-aka this is all considered your media kit
Keep it all in a centralized hub so it doesn’t get lost in your inbox!
Consistency is the cornerstone of branding success. Learn how to maintain brand integrity by housing all branding assets and guidelines in your digital hub. Ensure that every aspect of your business, from visuals to messaging, aligns seamlessly with your brand identity.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of how you can organize the backend of your business. Overall, I just want to encourage you to take the necessary steps you should be taking to be more streamlined, organized, and intentional in staying on top of running your business. You started your business for many reasons, and I can bet you did NOT start your business to feel like a frazzled mess. So take the first step with these five tips of organization!
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family photographer and a creative business owner who educates other creative business owners on all things systems, SOPs, and workflows. Dolly loves serving families with her bold, elevated, and radiant photography. She also loves educating other creative business owners on how to set up systems and workflows that will ultimately help them save time in their business. She does this by producing weekly blog posts, weekly podcast episodes on The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast, and weekly YouTube Episodes.
She has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Dubsado, Email Marketing, and Business Systems with new creative business owners & family photographers in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that anyone can find joy in systems, workflows, and SOPS! Plus BONUS: Systems is where the MAGIC happens! You CAN streamline & automate the backend of your creative business with ease!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography for a branding photography session, fill out her contact form